Who's that Girl?


A Day In The Life Of Lisa Rosendahl- of Lisa Rosendahl’s HR Thoughts

Originally posted: September 9, 2009 on TrishMcFarlane.com

Welcome to this week’s installment of the ‘A Day in the Life of…’ series.  I hope you’re enjoying reading about the HR bloggers as much as I am enjoying writing about them.  So far, we’ve learned more about Kris Dunn, Mike VanDervort, and Laurie Ruettimann.  This week, I’m thrilled to add Lisa Rosendahl to the list.

Lisa RosendahlLisa Rosendahl is one incredibly inspiring blogger.  She is smart, sincere, well-grounded, and she just has a way of drawing people to her.  Her writing style is friendly and approachable.  She’s just the kind of HR person we’d all personally like to have in our corner.  Lisa has been writing her blog, ‘Lisa Rosendahl- HR Thoughts’ for three years.  She fills a different niche than any other HR blogger I’ve found.  If you’re not reading her blog or following her on Twitter (@lisarosendahl), now is your chance.

With that, I give you………Lisa Rosendahl!

Lisa, I know you are a busy working mom.  I also know you’re an early bird because you are one of the people I see on Twitter first thing in the morning.  What is your morning routine like?  Tell us what you have to do to get your day started right.

I start my day bright and early about 4:30 and head to the gym a few days a week. On those mornings, my husband takes the kid to school. Regardless of who brings her in, there’s not a lot of time in the morning so we don’t have much of a routine beyond get up, get dressed, brush your teeth, grab a quick bite and out the door we go!

Do you have advice for working parents on how to still accomplish things in the morning AND get your kid to school on time?

Do it all the night before! We lay out outfits for the next day and pack everything– my gym bag, the kid’s backpack for school, bags for after school activities, etc – the night before and have them positioned right by the door for an easy grab and run. For me, I am up, dressed and ready to go before I wake the kiddo up so 100% of my attention is on her and getting her out the door.

Tell us about your role in HR.  Where do you work?  Is it close to home, do you have a long commute, do you have the flexibility to work from home at times?

I work in the public sector and manage the Human Resource department for a medical center. I work with a staff of 10-12 HR professionals and we provide HR services to over 1,300 employees. Fortunately, I work close to home and my drive is about 20 minutes through town.

You’ve been writing your blog, formerly ‘Lisa Rosendahl’s HR Thoughts’, soon to be renamed by your readers.  Why did you start a blog that focuses on human resources and leadership?  How has writing enhanced and changed you?  And, why rename the blog?

I started to blog because my very best friend from college told me to.  I looked at this as an experiment in professional development so I picked the title “HR Thoughts” simply because I work in human resources and I think a lot. It really was a quick decision to get the blog going.

I have been blogging for almost 3 years and from it, I discovered just how much I love to write. Also, I’ve made friends, gained confidence, found a voice and am discovering/ uncovering interests outside of the nuts and bolts of human resources.

Now, I don’t want to limit my writing to only human resources topics. At times I’d sit to write something that didn’t seem to fit in with the title or theme of the blog so “HR Thoughts” as a title is feeling a bit restrictive to me.  I am looking for a new title that will keep a professional human focus, but give me room to grow. And, thanks to you and your suggestion, I have a survey going for a new name!

Tell us about your work day.  What tips do you have for managing your work day for people just starting their HR career?  Do you think your military background prepared you to manage a busy schedule in Human Resources?

I start between 7 and 7:30 and don’t stop until the day ends at 4:30 or so. The only thing about my work day that is the same is that it is never the same – and that’s what keeps it interesting. Managing the work day is a myth – it has a life of its own! Seriously, prioritizing your workload is key and that is easier to do when you’ve been in a role long enough to be able to make the distinction. Until then, ask for assistance from your supervisor – don’t try to do it all – it simply can’t be done. One thing I was reminded of recently was the beauty of an agenda free day. Plan one regularly – I am going to.

What is the most interesting part of what you do? 

By far, the most interesting part of what I do is supervising others. It can be the best of days, it can be the worst of days (harp playing in the background), and it always keeps me on my toes.

I see you tweeting about your new project with your daughter- your ‘Raising Tarah’ blog.  Tell us how you came up with the idea and how it is going so far.

Writing has been so reflective for me and I found myself wanting to write about things as mundane as my days to as deep as insights gained from raising a daughter. Sometimes, I’d make an HR or leadership connection and post them on HR Thoughts but other times that really wasn’t the place for them. So “Raising Tarah” was born and it evolved into a “joint venture” with my daughter before it even got off the ground.

What do you and your family like to do to relax when you’re not working or writing your blogs?

My husband is very active, so in the summer we boat and tube.  In the winter, we snow shoe and ski. Many nights we don’t do much more than lay on the couch and watch TV. Not too exciting!

You are someone who clearly embraces social media both in your professional and personal life.  What would you say to someone who is afraid to get involved in social media to convince him or her that it is beneficial?

Just get in there and do it. Take small steps or jump in with both feet – whatever your style, give it a try. It’s beneficial, trust me. Trust Trish. Trust the bloggers.

You are one of the first people to jump on the HRevolution bandwagon.  What interests you most about the event and why did you take the leap?

I can’t wait for HRevolution! This is an opportunity to see so many great people face-to-face after “meeting” them online.  You, Ben, Crystal and Steve are so supportive of each other, of me, and of fellow bloggers – I felt like I had to be there to support you. I like that it’s about the bloggers, it’s a grassroots kind-of-thing, and it’ll be a great size to meet and talk with people without being overwhelming. You also made it very easy with the timing, location and duration.

Bonus Question:  What is the best piece of HR or business advice you’ve received?

Wow, there are so many. Short of linking you to Wally Bock’s Three Star Leadership Blog, the one that comes to mind right now is to “manage the smiley faces.”

Thanks to Lisa for agreeing to participate this week.  I’ve linked to Lisa on Twitter and to her HR and personal blogs.  You can also find Lisa on Linkedin at https://www.linkedin.com/in/lisarosendahl.  If you would like to be highlighted in an upcoming post, or you have a HR blogger you’d like to nominate to be highlighted, let me know.  I’ll be doing these posts leading up to the HRevolution in November.

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